Get the flu shot to stay healthy

Daily Editorial Board

National Public Radio’s latest survey on flu vaccination found just over 60 percent of the adults polled had gotten or intended to get the flu shot. Most said they received the vaccine for free.
 
Close to half of those who hadn’t been immunized or didn’t plan to get the vaccine said they didn’t believe it was necessary. 
 
Last year, only one-third of adults between 18 and 49 got the shot, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemiologist Shannon Stokley.
 
Still, flu-related complications hospitalize about 200,000 people each year in this country, where influenza kills 25,000 annually.
 
At the University of Minnesota, Boynton Health Service works hard to provide campus with walk-in flu clinics, free vaccinations, online scheduling and information about
immunization.
 
There are few valid excuses for why every person on campus wouldn’t get vaccinated — we should do it not only to keep ourselves healthy as individuals but also to prevent the spread of contagious diseases. College students do not live in a petri dish of vigorous, healthful young people. 
 
When we cough on the bus or handle produce at the grocery store — regardless of whether we’ve shown symptoms — we could be transmitting the influenza virus to those at the highest risk of serious flu complications: pregnant women, young children, people with chronic medical conditions and the elderly.
 
It’s normal to prioritize personal health. But it’s just as important to actively protect public health. If you haven’t already, go out and get the flu shot sometime soon.